It's got to be said: Windows Vista is shit! So, now blame me, burn me, do whatever you want with this statement, but what needs to be said is now said.
While the exceptionally good PR department from Microsoft is now celebrating the sale of 20 million licenses of Vista already, the question remains: is Vista ready yet for the primetime? No, it isn't! Of course Microsoft wants to make you believe it, but there are good reasons to stick with Windows XP or Windows 2000 - yet. In my own opinion the best Windows Microsoft ever made is still Windows 2000. Also the number of 20 millions is in the discussion, some commenter over at eWeek suggested a good method how to validate this. BTW, in February Microsoft's CEO Steve Ballmer was still disgruntled about the bad sales of Vista and blaming piracy as the main reason for it, read this and that, too. Bwahaha! So, go figure! 20 million copies? In your dreams, pal!
Take my advise: if you really want to use Vista in a critical business environment - and which business environment is not critical - better wait another year. Perhaps then most of the outstanding issues with Vista are fixed, somewhat.
So, what's wrong with Vista? Well, let me give you some reasons:
- It's a memory and ressource hog, period. While 128 MB RAM were the minimum to work with Windows 2000 and 256 MB RAM with Windows XP, you should better have at least 512 MB RAM to work with Windows Vista and a decent CPU, too. Graphics? Well, you can live without Aero, this is eye candy, but nothing you really need. I mean, an OS should be the tool enabling to use your PC well, but not the star!
- Vista should have been more secure than XP and have many new features. Heck, it was over five years in the making, for the software industry this is like eternity! But, what happened? Vista phones home frequently, and this is now called WGA - Windows Geniune Advantage! Pah! It's even more worse in that kind of issue than XP was used to be. It can be blocked by a firewall, but really - who knows about that and how to do that anyway? No wonder it has been frequently cracked already in the past, no wonder even more when you consider that WGA considered in the past legitimate copies of XP and Vista as illigetimate and hassled the users of it!
- Vista needs to be activated - now even in a corporate environment. More work for the system administrator - yadda yadda. No wonder this has been cracked already, too.
- Vista has builtin new features, that should make it more secure than XP and more hard for trojans and viruses to run on it, called PatchGuard and Code Integrity. PatchGuard is supposed in the 64bit version of Vista, it has already been breached more than once - and is hopefully fixed, already.
- We all love drivers, because we all have hardware we've grown accustomed to and still want to use. So, if you need such tools - better wait. Drivers are still an issue! For example, the drivers for the newest, shiniest, brightest Nvidia graphics card are not yet ready for the prime time! Proof? Here! I mean, the early adopters just bought a Nvidia Geforce 8800 perhaps, dreamed of using it under Vista and are now facing a driver, that's still in the development and somewhat lacking. No wonder some gruntled users are considering filing a class action suit against Nvidia!
- Drivers are a fiasco as stated above. I mean, Vista has been available for corporate usage since end of November 2006, for private usage intentionally since end of January this year, so that the hardware vendors had enough time to produce drivers for Vista. And - they're still not there!
- The famous anti virus makers Kaspersky claim it's less secure than XP in some aspects at the moment!
- Vista is crippling the output of high quality content on purpose. While this might have it's legitimation in some use cases, it has not in many use cases, but it seems you cannot turn off those features.
- It's too expensive and has too many versions of it, most of them crippled in a way that you need to stick with the more expensive ones in corporate use cases or sooner or later are upgrading it with the Anytime upgrade, anyway. Mac OS X Tiger, which is a decent operating system, costs 129 US$ for the user - full version. The best Vista version, Windows Vista Ultimate, which many need, costs 259 US$ directly from Microsoft, Windows Vista Business is still 199 US$. For the upgrade editions! What, you're not eligable for an update? Well, Microsoft is your friend, of course. Vista Home Basic, the most crippled version, costs as full version at least 174 US$, Vista Business at least 262 US$, and Vista Ultimate at least 324 US$. Those prices are sick!
Of course, Microsoft is not putting much effort into making it well known, that there are also system builder's versions around of Vista. A system builder version is the same like the full version, except it does not come into such a shiny box like the full version and you don't get any direct support from Microsoft, like calling by phone or via email. Of course, you get the patches, too. Aside of that, it's identically to the full version. Want a system builder edition of Vista Ultimate? Hey, it's 189 US$ only over there at Amazon.com! Do the math and go figure; it's the best shot to get a legal copy of Vista, if you need to have one, and much cheaper than the normal, legal, full version, and also comes from Microsoft.
If you really want a decent operating system, go buy yourself a Macintosh with OS X, stick with Windows 2000 or XP - they're both mature enough or use Linux. The biggest competition for Vista is XP and Windows 2000 itself. Having said that, what else should be noted?
You can already have many of the advanced features of Vista under earlier Windows versions. So you want desktop search? Google, Yahoo and Copernic are gladly providing it to you for free! Ok, it's of course better when it's coming with the OS and application can use a standard API, but those desktop searches have been around for years now and are doing their job very well.
Want eye candy? There are also enough tools around to achieve it and so on.
BTW, here are some news regarding the topic of using Vista in large scale environments:
- The NIST has banned it for the moment, but that's a standard procedure for them.
- Gartner Group is expecting a slow migration to Vista over the years. That's my opinion, too - it's still immature and needs time to get more mature.
- The US department of Transportation has put a ban on Vista upgrades, too. They're exploring also other options like Apple or Linux.
- there are of course much more URLs, too much to put on this article.
So, what's the moral of the story? Though Vista is here, it's still immature and not ready for the primetime, yet. If you really want to use it, better make sure that you've got decent hardware and better just wait until 2008. Most of the outstanding issues should have been ironed out, then.
The biggest competition for Vista is Microsoft itself, namely Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Vista is a whole new dimension of crippling user rights and phoning home, though.
Vista is going to emerge slowly on the market; while it was being hailed as a revolutionary operating system in the beginning of design and making, in reality it has become an evolutionary operating system. Vista is not getting market share by direct sales, it's gaining market share because many computers are coming prepackaged with it. This process is going to take some time, so, it's emerging slowly.
Oh, and by the way, if you want to pirate software, Microsoft wants that you pirate them instead of the competition. That's a pragmatic point of view, I must say, quite understandable, but software vendors very rarely dare to say that openly in public. Yadda yadda!
Of course, competition is tough and it's hard to be Microsoft, but Vista is really disappointing me on great lengths, especially when you consider it has been over five years in the making. But then again, it's the future standard, since most computers are going to be shipped only with it from now on, so better get used to it.